THE grandson of a World War One hero told pupils of his ancestor’s incredible brush with death as they commemorated the Battle of Gallipoli by planting a tree.
Pupils from Bay House School, in Gosport, recently visited the site, in Turkey, where more than 500,000 people died between April 25, 1915 and January 9, 1916.
Lieutenant Martin Heighway, based at HMS Sultan in Gosport, is honouring those who died by donating pine trees to be planted as living memorials.
Bay House is the first school in the area to receive an Aleppo pine and it was planted in the school grounds yesterday by Lt Heighway.
He said: ‘We’re delighted at HMS King Alfred that Bay House School has chosen to accept our Aleppo pine on behalf of all those who fought and fell in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.
‘We’ve seen intense dedication from Bay House pupils towards making the memory live of those who fought.’
The British lost the battle and many thousands of allied Australian and New Zealand troops were killed.
Headteacher Ian Potter said: ‘Gallipoli was a fantastic example of learning how different nations make sense of the same events to understand their identity.’
After hearing about the school’s trip to Gallipoli Martin Minter got in touch with his grandfather Marcus Minter’s incredible story.
Mr Minter, from Gosport, was serving in the Royal Marine Light Infantry and was guarding a captured Turkish trench when he was shot in the chest.
He was saved by a tin of Bisto, with tobacco in it, which was in his pocket.
His grandson still has the shrapnel bullet. He said: ‘Without that tin, I wouldn’t be here now.’
Organisations interested in planting a living memorial should email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the HMS King Alfred Facebook page.